Her name is Ximena Renaerts. She is an abortion survivor who was left to die in a Canadian hospital.

By Jonathon Van Maren

On December 16, 1985, a little girl was born in Vancouver General Hospital. No joy greeted her arrival—her birth mother had already tried to have her aborted at an abortion clinic just across the border in Bellingham, Washington and had only come to VGH due to complications. Hospital staff delivered her into a bedpan. The pan was then swiftly carried off by Vera Wood, a senior nurse, and according to court documents was placed in the room where “dead foetuses were stored.” She was “moving, gasping, and crying weakly,” but it was assumed that she wouldn’t last long. They never did.

A year later, nurse Kathryn Larouche told the Vancouver Sun that “there were a couple of people…I don’t want to say who. They told us, ‘Don’t do anything. Leave it alone. It will die.” The attending doctor told nurses not to bother resuscitating the child.

Her name was Ximena Renaerts, and she wanted to live. When the nurse checked back on her about a half hour later, she was still alive—a defiantly wheezing baby in a room meant for dead babies. Ximena was supposed to be a corpse, too—she’d already been thrown out. But as she kept on breathing, in and out, the hospital staff decided that it was probably best to call a nursing supervisor, who arrived nearly an hour after the little girl had been born into the cold bedpan. She was still lying in the pan, uncovered and sitting on a stainless steel counter when the supervisor arrived. Moved with compassion, the supervisor initiated a Code Blue and called for the Infant Transport Team.

At that point, the little girl had become extremely cold from lying uncovered and untended in the bedpan, and the loss of heat had caused permanent brain damage—but her life was saved. Her story made big news again when her adoptive family sued Vancouver General Hospital for ten million dollars over a decade later, and when faced with the possibility of a public trial, the Hospital backed down and settled with the family (who lived in Chilliwack) for an undisclosed sum of money to be used for Ximena’s round-the-clock care, made necessary by her disabilities. Several police investigations went nowhere, and Vancouver General Hospital did its best to kill the story.

There is some reason to believe that Vancouver General Hospital wanted to avoid a trial because Ximena was not the only baby born alive and left to die—while they insisted that this had never happened before, they stated that no “viable” babies had been abandoned in this fashion, without defining what they meant by “viable” and ignoring the fact that Ximena had not been considered “viable,” either. Kathryn Larouche told the Vancouver Sun that she saw at least three other infants “die after they were delivered alive…We were supposed to turn the other way. We weren’t supposed to do anything.” Due to the emotional trauma these events caused, she and five other nurses quit working for VGH.

Some of you may wonder why I’m bringing up Ximena’s story, all these years later. The reason is simple: Every year, in Canadian hospitals, the same thing is happening to other boys and girls just like her. As I wrote last week, some of these babies—abortion victims who lived just a little bit longer than was intended—are actually issued Canadian birth certificates and death certificates. Pro-life activists try to draw attention to deaths of these children, but they are usually ignored. These dead children are simply considered to be the collateral damage of a society that has allowed abortion up until birth since 1988, and their brutal passing elicits only yawns from the politicians, the media, and the abortion industry.

So perhaps the story of Ximena Renaerts can remind us that these were real children, even if they were so cruelly abandoned that they remained nameless in life and in death. Perhaps our collective national conscience is not so congealed with blood that we cannot feel a twinge when we imagine a tiny little girl, gasping for breath in between little cries that desperately tried to remind those who had abandoned her that she was alive. And then, perhaps, we can set ourselves to work creating a culture that refuses to look away from what we have done, and refuses to walk away from those who need us most.


For anyone interested, my book on The Culture War, which analyzes the journey our culture has taken from the way it was to the way it is and examines the Sexual Revolution, hook-up culture, the rise of the porn plague, abortion, commodity culture, euthanasia, and the gay rights movement, is available for sale here.

16 thoughts on “Her name is Ximena Renaerts. She is an abortion survivor who was left to die in a Canadian hospital.

  1. Dorothy King says:

    So now what do we do? Do we go into the hospitals and kidnap these children? What do we do as pro-lifers? If we get involved, we will be sued and destroyed. We cannot trespass onto hospital property in Calgary. Both the Peter Lougheed and Foothills Hospitals have no-zones covered by court orders that we cannot even protest outside. What do we do?

    • SAM BC says:

      Dorothy King your right. It shouldn’t just be pro lifers that are concerned either. These are living babies that are unwanted and left to die. Even PRO CHOICE individuals should be concerned. This is a HUMANE problem, this is not just a one group problem. I don’t have the answer, I am just hoping that the more people protest and speak about these unspoken things that maybe people will become concerned.

      • Alec says:

        Awkward so you are saying god will be on your side to go break a commandment to fit your heads needs you can believe what you would like he will judge you accordingly

        • Karl Airey says:

          That is just asinine. Are you a Judge now? Do you know what commandment would be broken and can you declare yourself as never breaking any? Please be careful when pointing fingers at good people who want to to good things. Some laws are unjust.

    • Linda k says:

      We change the Laws. We pray to God to STOP the Evil in our society. We Educate our children to not ever engage in sexual activity unless they are willing to produce a child and support it for the rest of their lives. We must get rid of the “people on the Left” that promote free sex and abortions that cause death by disease and deaths. Severe punishment to those that don’t protect and respect the lives of others. The “Liberals” are the guilty ones. Their agenda is to rid God from our lives. Pray to God to take charge of the left and punish the evil they are perpetuating. Petition the Political members of this Country to recover and follow that which is RIGHTEOUS! Babies are born innocent. Save them! Kill the guilty that are unrighteous. Teach everyone to avoid pregnancy. There are no less than 17 forms of protection from conception. There is no reason why anyone should get pregnant unless they are choosing to give life to their own child. Anyone that rapes a woman and causes her to become pregnant must be either made to support and raise the child, be castrated, or be imprisones. Babies are family members. STOP KILLING THEM. Why are rapists not imprisoned and castrated? Why are women too dumb to keep from getting pregnant? They don’t get pregnant by themselves. They need to be taught how to be responsible for their own bodies. Why Is MURDER Now Legal? God Help Them!

      • Sam says:

        Ah, Jonathon, you may want to censor comments calling for society to “get rid of” those they disagree with or to “kill the guilty that are unrighteous”.

      • Alec says:

        God controls everything the devil is tempting you I’m not here to criticize but if you think God is going to allow you in his gates with the talk of murdering ppm who are you to be “GOD” and take someone’s life is kinda warped I was raped at 4 years old I’m not excusing it but it has made me the person I am today I may not love my life but I am glad to be alive

      • Kiki says:

        Wow! You do realize that rape isn’t about sex, it’s about the power. Castration isn’t the answer because they seek power and control.
        So, if a baby is the result of a sexual battery, the POS should help raise the the baby, thus victimizing the woman further.
        That has to be the craziest thing I’ve ever heard.

    • Pat says:

      Simple, we gather together near the hospital or in the hospital and pray the rosary. This is a spiritual war with evil and that is the only way that we can fight, Praying the Rosary together for the same cause.

  2. Victor Votary says:

    Canada, the USA, and many other nations can not claim to be a decent nation when the health care providers are involved in such atrocities. Indecent acts like leaving live children to die must not go unnoticed nor unpunished. The law may allow things we do not like, but it it also there to protect us and punish those that blatently go against it. I am sure it is illegal actions that are taking place. Where are the police, judges, and lawmakers in positions to bring these people to justice?

  3. lola says:

    We each do what we can, one person at a time. In our own surroundings. We lovingly and graciously let it be known that we understand, rather than judge, women in difficult predicaments. We build trust. We give support and love. We offer to help them, go to the doctor with them, or go to an adoption clinic with them. We give them a roof to stay under if needed, until they work things out. We immediately show love to tmom and the baby in the womb. We educate and do whatever we can to remove fear.

  4. Shirley says:

    I am left wondering why they allow abortions up to birth. If these babies are unwanted by the parents or mothers, why aren’t they given up for adoption? Aren’t there kind, loving parents looking for a child these days? I realize some mothers may be drug addicts which makes it difficult for the child. But why are the mothers waiting so long to abort? Why not do it within the first trimester, if they feel they must? Any mother should have her tubes tied if this happens more than once (mandatory). As said earlier, there are many ways to prevent an unwanted pregnancy in the first place. I realize there can be some instances where an abortion is necessary. But even women who have become pregnant through a rape will often keep the child or put it up for adoption.

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